Shoreline erosion refers to the removal of sand from the shoreline to the deeper waters in the water. Beach erosion is caused by various factors i.e. by human action, onshore and offshore action. The offshore natural process that leads to soil erosion on the beach includes the action of waves. During high tide, the water level submerges the sand, and as the water return into the ocean, the sand is carried away from the beach causing erosion. Various methods that the waves use to create erosion include hydraulic action, attrition, corrosion and solution. Hydraulic action of the waves forces compressed air onto rock cracks making them to splinter. Attrition occurs when rocks that are carried by the waves grind against each other. Solution erosion involves dissolving limestone on the shore by sea water. Corrosion occurs because of the continuous pressure on the rock face endures because of the constant pounding of sea waves.
Onshore natural process that erodes soil include wind erosion. The different forms of wind erosion include creep where large particles that are too heavy are rolled. Saltation involves the picking and dropping of particles. When the particles fall back to the ground abrasion occurs abrasion occurs. Light particles are carried by the wind from the beach and blown into the ocean via a mode of transport called suspension.
Human activities cause beach erosion. Some of this activities include sand harvesting and building of dams that reduce the amount of sediments that reach the ocean, coral mining and dredging of the coastline contributes to beach erosion. Various methods may be used to reverse the different types of erosion discussed above. Various methods can be used to reclaim beaches in a process called beach nourishment. Sand is mined, transported and deposited onto the eroded land. If the eroded area contains submerged sand, then the beach nourishment may be effective. If no submerged sand is available, the new sand deposited will also be eroded. This process is expensive, time-consuming and may endanger small marine creatures because the new sand will cover them.
Offshore erosion can be controlled by artificially building armoring structures such as seawalls revetment and detached breakwaters. These structures run parallel to the beach, and they prevent offshore erosion. Onshore erosion on the beach can be controlled by planting vegetation cover to hold the soil particles, thereby preventing the wind from blowing away the soil into the ocean. The human contributed erosion can be controlled by minimizing sand harvesting, dredging along the coast and prevention of coral mining.Natural methods of beach reclamation can occur very slowly. When submerged sand is eroded, and they form storm bars in the ocean. Small tides transfer the sand from the storm bars back to the beach. This type of beach reclamation is standard on a healthy beach
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Cooper, J. A. G and Orrin H Pilkey. Pitfalls Of Shoreline Stabilization. Dordrecht: Springer, 2012. Print.
Gold Coast Beach Nourishment. 1st ed. griffith: griffith university. Web. 1 Nov. 2016.
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